In this day and age, companies must step up their game in order to remain relevant and competitive in the market. Therefore, adopting diversity into their system is an indispensable imperative that companies should embrace in order to enhance the company’s performance. Diversity in companies mainly constitutes acceptance, appreciation and recognition of staff with different backgrounds. Different sexual orientation, age, religion, race, gender, ethnicity, class, mental and physical abilities are some of the factors that create diversity at work. Employers should consider employees with diverse background during recruitment in order to improve the quality and performance of the organization in the competitive job market.
Women, colored people, people with disabilities and immigrants are normally the marginalized individuals at the workplace. Employers should see to it that everybody at work is accorded equal treatment by providing an enabling environment for creativity, productivity and teamwork for all. This is termed as diversity staffing (De’Campo web). Most employees prefer to work in an environment where diversity at all levels is encouraged. Companies should integrate the 3R’s of diversity for a company’s success, which are Retention, Results and Recruitment.
However, no matter how important this imperative is for companies, it becomes utterly difficult for most companies achieving it. This is because most organizations have the wrong perception of diversity, and they fail to incorporate all levels of diversity. One of the common mistakes that they make is to consider the visible dimension of diversity, which is mainly gender and race. This makes them to omit other forms of diversity such as disability, religion, sexual orientation, geographic background and reasoning ability. Another common mistake is diversifying the lower ranks of employment, but there is no diversity up the ladder in the management sector. In order to address this problem, organizations should include all workers in the company’s strategy, mission and vision, and acknowledge their skills and areas of knowledge for the overall excellence of the organization (Lieberman web).
Diversity has both merits and demerits. The benefits of diversity include diverse experience, where different workers have peculiar perception and experience from their various cultural backgrounds atop their individuality. Proper management of this diversity complements the workers’ weaknesses and leverages their strengths in order to enhance the impact on the workforce. Secondly, exposure to various cultures, ideas and perspectives contributes to an employee’s growth and development, encouraging them to be all-rounded. This improves their wellness and intellectual ability. Diversity also encourages retention of the human capital because employees will not have reason to seek other companies with diversity. This makes sure that heterogeneous talent is maintained because employees are not migrating from one company to the next in search of diversity. Recruitment of new staff is quite costly to firms, and could avoid it by embracing diversity. Moreover, hiring staff with multilingualism is a plus for the company because it caters for the needs of people who do not understand a certain language. This enhances communication skills within the company which may yield positive results to the company’s advantage. A heterogeneous workforce translates to greater output and productivity. There is also an increase in sales because clients’ economic, cultural and social needs are represented when buying goods and services from a diversified company.
On the contrary, diversity also has some demerits. One of the drawbacks is increased cost of training, which is incurred in pursuit of diversity during lectures, seminars and programs that promote diversity. Diversity could also provoke competition other than team work at the work place if employees do not embrace different cultures. This has an adverse effect on the business because employees work separately instead of as a team. Lack of respect for other people’s differences could arise amongst workers who prefer sticking and working within their culture. This could also lead to discrimination and prejudice (Kelly web).
The merits associated with diversity outweigh the demerits. A company cannot ignore the fact that diversity yields numerous benefits to the company, and should embrace it as a business imperative for enhanced performance and productivity. Despite the demerits, a company can forego the costs that come with diversity since it will reap the benefits in the long run. Other small demerits can be complemented with the merits, and handled amicably within the company’s means. Therefore, diversity should be part and parcel of all companies.
- De’Campo, Martin. “Diversity Staffing: Much More Than You Think!” The Multicultural Advantage. 2009. Web. 9 April 2013.
- Kelly, Lila. “Challenges in Recruiting and Hiring Diverse Employees.” The Multicultural Advantage. 2009. Web. 9 April 2013.
- Lieberman, Simma. “Moving Beyond the Numbers: How to Recruit, and Retain a Diverse Workforce.” The Multicultural Advantage. 2009. Web. 9 April 2013.